You’ve been harmed, now what?
If you have been harmed by another person there are resources and remedies that are available to you. In most circumstances, you have a choice about what you want us to do after you’ve been harmed by someone, but sometimes we are bound by law to take action.
There are four reasons that we might have to act even if you didn't want us to:
- A person under age 18 was a recipient of the unwanted behavior (the university is required to notify law enforcement).
- A Willamette University employee is involved (Federal law requires investigation).
- There is a level of ongoing risk to the community or to the individual involved (risk criteria includes use of a weapon, threats, or violence).
- There is evidence of pattern or predation.
If none of the four criteria above exist in your case, you can decide what you want to happen next. Reports can be made anonymously. Anonymous reports limit our ability to assist those who have been harmed, and provide resources in a timely manner.
- You could meet with the Confidential Advocate and discuss your options in person. You can choose to meet with the Confidential Advocate and not disclose any more information about what happened. The Confidential Advocate can still listen, and walk you through the options available.
- You could decide to move forward with a formal Title IX investigation. This option includes interviewing you, the other person involved, and anyone that might have information pertinent to the case. We will make sure you have support and information throughout this process. If, at the end of the investigation, the case is handed over to the Title IX Team via the Office of Student Affairs for hearing consideration, you will have a chance to review all of the evidence gathered in the investigation. The other person involved will be given that option also.
- You can decide not to meet with anyone at the university and just let your report stay in our database. If a preliminary report is made, and you do not want to continue on with an investigation and formal process, it’s ok. You always have the choice to go back and reopen an incident and initiate a process if you desire. If you don’t want to pursue a formal process, you’re still entitled to resources and remedies.
If we become aware of another incident where the person that harmed you has hurt someone else, we may need to take action and move forward with a formal investigation. The Title IX team will have to consider #4 from the list of reasons to move forward with an investigation. You can decide not to participate with a formal process, however, the Title IX Team may decide to conduct an investigation even if you don't want to. Support and resources are always available to you regardless of your decision to participate or not.
You have the option to stop or start the process at any time but the Office of Student Affairs, along with the Title IX Team, will decide whether or not to conduct an investigation and hearing (following the guidelines 1-4 above). An investigation could take place and there may not be a hearing. If a hearing takes place and the outcome of hearing is responsible, the hearing administrators (assigned to the case) will also decide on a sanction for the violation. Both parties can appeal under certain appeal criteria.
Make sure to utilize campus tools or resources available to you:
- A Restricted Contact Order is available. This is a no fault tool (meaning no one is accused or found responsible for anything) that just says two people have to stay away from each other. We can put this in place even if there is no formal investigation or accountability. The RCO is mutual, you both would have to stay away from each other and may be restricted from certain parts of campus in order for this tool to be effective.
- It is not uncommon for students to suddenly be triggered by material and then start having trouble in the class. We can help by working with your professors to see if there is any flexibility in the class so that you can finish successfully.
- If you and the person who harmed you are in any of the same class or participating in group activities for a class, we may be able to work something out so you can feel more comfortable in an activity you are involved in.
You can discuss these options with a confidential resource on campus or in our community:
- On Campus: Confidential Advocate
Navigating your options can be overwhelming; it may be difficult to make a decision that is right for you. You can receive information regarding options, your rights and your resources. Confidential advocates can also provide assistance contacting law enforcement, medical care or state services/programs off campus.
- On Campus: Bishop Wellness Center
- Bishop Counseling center can offer confidential counseling.
- There is no cost for Bishop counseling services.
- Call Bishop to set up an appointment.
- On Campus: Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA)
SARA is a network of trained, peer advocates who provide confidential support, resources, and education to members of the Willamette University community who have experienced sexual or domestic harassment, assault, or violence. The SARAs are available to talk in person, and by phone. See the SARA website for more information, access to an appointment request form and chat options.
- On Campus: University Chaplains (No religious affiliation required)
Putnam University Center, 2nd floor
- Telephone Support: WU Talk (24/7 Counseling Service, Free)
Free 24/7 phone counseling for Willamette students
- Off Campus: Center for Hope & Safety (24/7, Downtown Salem)
The Center for Hope and Safety is the local domestic and sexual violence non-profit program that serves people of every gender identity. They have a 24 hour hotline if you want to talk to someone, or you can also request an in person appointment. Their services are free.
- Off Campus: Private Counseling
You can see a counselor of your choosing off campus. Referrals are available if you would like although there are usually waiting lists to get into these counselors. You often can use your private insurance to help pay for the cost of seeing a counselor. However, if you are still covered under your parent's insurance and you use that, your parents will see the Explanation of Benefits that will show you went to a counselor. If you haven't shared what is going on for you with your parents/guardians and would not want them to know they were seeing a counselor, you might not want to use your insurance. Even with insurance, there may be a copay cost depending on what your insurance plan is.
You always have the option to file a report with Salem Police Department. We can help you through this process, or you can contact Salem PD on your own. You do not have to file a report with the university in order to file one with the police. Additionally, you can pursue both a formal investigation with the university and a report to law enforcement at the same time.
- Salem Police Department (503) 588-6123 (Non-emergency Line)
- Salem Police Department Emergency Line: 911
There may be other things you need help with that we aren't aware of - please don't hesitate to ask. For more information contact the Office of Student Affairs, 3rd floor of the University Center (503) 370-6447.